A bill before the Tennessee General
Assembly that would prohibit the discussion of sexual minorities in
public schools will be heard on Wednesday, March 11.
House Bill 821 is sponsored by
Representative Stacey Campfield, a Republican from Knoxville, while
state Senator Dwayne Bunch (R-Cleveland) has backed Senate Bill 1250.
Both measures would limit sexual
discussions in public schools to heterosexuality.
The bill's summary says, “Prohibits
the teaching of or furnishing of materials on human sexuality other
than heterosexuality in public school grades K-8.”
The bills were introduced on February
12 and will get their first hearing in the K-12 Subcommittee, which
is under the Education Committee in the House.
A similar measure died in the same
subcommittee last year, reports gay weekly Out & About.
In a vote divided along party lines, members voted to have the state
Board of Education study the issue.
“We're not going to teach about
homosexuality, the homosexual lifestyle, the lesbian lifestyle, the
transgender lifestyle,” Representative Campfield told WTVF, a CBS
affiliate, during the debate last year.
Representative Les Winningham, a
Democrat from Huntsville, chairs the K-12 Subcommittee which is
composed of 12 members – 6 Democrats and 6 Republicans.